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The influence of sagittal center of pressure offset on gait kinematics and kinetics

Haim A et al., Journal of Biomechanics 2010

Background
Kinetic patterns of the lower extremity joints have been shown to be influenced by modification of the location of the center of pressure (CoP) of the foot. The accepted theory is that a shifted location of the CoP alters the distance between the ground reaction force and the center of the joint, thereby modifying torques during gait. Various footwear designs have been reported to significantly alter the magnitude of sagittal joint torques during gait. However, the relationship between the CoP and the kinetic patterns in the sagittal plane has not been examined. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between the sagittal location of the CoP and gait patterns during gait in healthy men.

Methods
A foot-worn biomechanical device which allows controlled manipulation of the CoP location was utilized. Fourteen healthy men underwent successive gait analysis with the device set to convey three different sagittal locations of the CoP: neutral, anterior offset and posterior offset.

Results
CoP translation in the sagittal plane (i.e., from posterior to anterior) significantly related with an ankle dorsiflexion torque and a knee extension torque shift throughout the stance phase. Likewise, an anterior translation of the CoP significantly reduced the extension torque at the hip during pre-swing.

Conclusions
The study results confirm a direct correlation between sagittal offset of the CoP and the magnitude of joint torques throughout the lower extremity.

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